New Year’s the time of the year when we start over, make restitution, resolutions that we most likely won’t keep, and promises to be better in the coming year. Maybe we update our five-year plan or decide to travel to a new place we’ve never been or challenge ourselves to take on something that is outside of our comfort zone. These are all things that most people resolve to do as one year comes to a close with another right on its heels.
Traditions vary from person to person, family to family, culture to culture, and country to country. That having been said, I thought it might be fun to delve into the New Year traditions of the Irish and maybe find something we can take into our own New Year’s Traditions. Perhaps, a bit of hope that a little bit of their luck rubs off on each of you as you begin a new chapter of your life!
The Irish like to get a jump on their spring cleaning and start the new year with a spotlessly clean house. As much as I would love to have a spotlessly clean house, I can’t ever seem to get all my laundry put in their proper places before I need to do the washing again. While they do a deep clean of their houses, they also, bang Christmas bread on doors and walls to chase out bad luck and invite good spirits in.I’m all for getting the bad luck out of my house. Where can I find some Irish Christmas bread?!
Another tradition surrounding your home and bringing in the New Year, is just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, opening the back door of your house to let the old year out, and opening up the front door to usher in the New Year.I’d love to show this last year the exit, but I don’t have an actual back door, as I live in a flat. Maybe an open window at the back of the flat would suffice? Either way, the New Year is heartily welcomed in my home! And I’m sure in all of your homes as well!
One of the traditions I thought was really special was honoring those who have passed away in the last year by setting a place for them at the dinner table and leaving the door unlatched.I think this is a very unique tradition but there is something very comforting about it as well. This is a simple way to keep those who have left us part of the celebrations without being sad they can’t be with us in person.
Now, for my single friends, don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there, and some of us are there now, but let me tell you, one of the New Year traditions the Irish have that I will be implementing in my life right away is, they place a sprig of mistletoe, holly, and ivy leaves under their pillow in hopes of dreaming about the future husband or wife. Excuse me, I’m headed to the nursery to grab all the essentials for this dream bouquet!
It might be an exciting and interesting change up to your usual traditions to implement with something from our friends from the Emerald Isle. You never know what kind of luck these might bring to you in the coming year.
Whatever your New Years traditions might be, or what changes you might want to make to them, we hope you all have a happy and healthy New Year filled with kept resolutions, new experiences, and a better version of your best self.
Happy New Year from all of us to you!